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Book Review: No Matter the Price – Daniel Pare

A strikingly raw, emotional debut novel

No Matter the Price is Daniel Pare’s debut novel, and I must say: if you, dear reader, are the type who loves reading debut novels, do NOT skip this one!

We are immediately thrown into the mental anguish of middle-aged parent Karen Turner, who has been struggling to accept her son Jason’s extreme depression for the last 5 years. The doctor suggests a drastic step: sending him to an in-patient facility clear across the United States for the low, low price of only $20,000 a month! Willing to do whatever it takes to give her son the very best treatment, she immediately begins planning to sell all her jewelry, and insists that her husband, Larry, sell their family’s mountain cabin as well.

Larry, however, believes that no treatment in the world will work with Jason unless Jason himself wants to get better. “Something inside you has to want life at all costs,” he muses. The struggle between the parents feels true to life: Depression is a beast, and parents who have never experienced it themselves find it difficult to understand their child–and often clash with each other about the best way to deal with it. Pare captures this struggle well; conversations felt realistic and I found myself agreeing with both Karen and Larry’s conflicting viewpoints at different times! Of course parents want to help their child as best as they can, no matter the price, right?

The book’s title No Matter the Price takes on a deeper, darker meaning as the novel progresses: Larry comes up with a bizarre, initially whacky plan to jump-start Jason’s will to live; Larry’s best friend, Chip, suggests that Larry should be the one committed to a psychiatric facility instead. From this point on, the characters are even more open with their raw emotions; the reader feels the pain, the confusion, and the devastation as they try to not only navigate the seemingly impossible task of dragging Jason back to the land of want-to-live, but also the inner demons they’ve suppressed as best as they can until now.

This is not always the easiest book to read; Pare has a talent for writing raw, uncomfortable emotions that rip at your heart. The plot twists and turns in ways I truly wasn’t expecting, keeping me awake and reading far past my bedtime. While I’d like to see a little more exploration of the feelings and struggles of Jason’s sisters in the story as well, I can only assume Pare will continue to refine his craft with future novels. I’m looking forward to them.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from Reedsy Discovery for free and read a converted PDF on my 10th generation Kindle Oasis. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own.

Title: No Matter The Price
Author: Daniel Pare
Publication Date: 02 December 2021
Print Length: 224 pages
Marie’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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